Former IAS officer Kannan Gopinathan, a staunch critic of the Narendra Modi government, was on Saturday detained at the Allahabad Airport before he was to participate at an event related to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. He tweeted that the UP police did not allow him out of the Allahabad airport and he been forced to board a flight to Delhi. However, he reminded that he will return yet again to UP.
Not allowed to get out of Allahabad airport and put on a flight to Delhi.— Kannan Gopinathan (@naukarshah) January 18, 2020
Independent Banana Republic of Uttar Pradesh offers free Delhi travel every time.@myogiadityanath is so afraid of free speech.
Will be coming again. Make your bookings in advance this time @Uppolice https://t.co/588cXVYbiP
This is the second time in just two weeks that Gopinathan has been detained by the Uttar Pradesh government and the third time in two months over events related to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
On Saturday, Gopinathan tweeted that he was to participate in a debate on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act at the Sardar Patel Sansthan in Allahabad at 2pm.
However, at 2pm, he tweeted that he had been detained at the city airport.
On January 4, Gopinathan was detained in Agra when he was en route to attend a demonstration against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act at Aligarh Muslim University, which had witnessed violent protests over the issue in December. Gopinathan tweeted that Aligarh Muslim University had informed him the government of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had asked it to not let the event happen. He was released on personal bond and escorted out of Uttar Pradesh.
No payment and all. In fact by now I have had to break 3 FDs myself. But the travel expenses are taken by the organisers who invite. Feel it is important to do it now.— Kannan Gopinathan (@naukarshah) January 18, 2020
In December, Gopinathan was detained in Mumbai before he and other activists could protest at Marine Drive against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
Gopinathan has been travelling across the country, interacting with students and activists about the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. Responding to a tweet on Saturday asking how he met his expenses for his engagements, Gopinathan claimed he has had to "break three FDs [fixed deposits]", but the travel expenses were borne by organisers.
Gopinathan is also listed as a speaker at a seminar on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act at Shashtri Ghat in Varanasi at 11.30am on January 20.
Gopinathan, an IAS officer of the AGMUT cadre, resigned in August last year, citing lack of freedom of expression in the wake of the Centre's decision to abrogate Article 370.